BERLIN: About 1,000 pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched through Berlin Friday, closely watched by police for any banned anti-Semitic slogans and separated from pro-Israel rallies.
More than 1,000 officers were on guard in the rainy capital for the rally against Israel’s Gaza offensive that has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians.
A few hundred counter-protesters waved Israeli flags and while the groups shouted at each other, there were no violent clashes. “We are keeping the groups apart,” a police spokesman told AFP.
Jewish groups and German politicians had voiced outrage in recent days that protesters at past pro-Gaza rallies had chanted anti-Jewish slurs and hate speech, in the country that perpetrated the Holocaust.
The main demonstration Friday marked Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) in support of the Palestinians, an event initiated by Iran in 1979 and held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Protesters shouted slogans such as “Israel, child killers” and “Stop killing the innocents” but avoided chants against “Jews”.
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